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Here in Pittsburgh we are blessed to have one of the greatest amusement parks in the world.  Most of you know it, Kennywood Park.  Millions of people have had the greatest time of their lives (especially childhood) in that special special place.  We were there the other day and had a typical Kennywood day filled with thrilling rides (first row on the Phantom’s Revenge), benchmark moments (Trey’s first ride on the Racers, Bella’s first driving alone on the bumper cars), great food (fries anyone?), sugar (mix and match slushies), heat (88 degrees), rain (just a little), nostalgia (merry go ’round/parachutes), embarrassing moments (ask Rachel or Joe about being on The Sky Rocket) and horrific fashion choices (everyone except for us).

Unfortunately, I noticed something that is out of place.  It may be the only thing not excellent about the entire park.  You know it too.  Think about it.  What is the least best ride there (ok, worst)?  No, not what is your least favorite ride.  That takes personal preference into account.  Some may like roller coasters, others not so much.  Some like spinny rides, others don’t.  Some people wear bathing suits to Kennywood and love the rides where you get wet.  Some don’t ride them at all.  I’m not talking about any of that.  I’m talking about one ride.  One ride that when you think about it is just not right. (Pause…think about it…………..).

It’s a ride called Garfield’s Nightmare.  Here’s why “It’s Just Not Right.”  The ride itself is all that IS right about Kennywood.  It’s one of the very oldest rides in the park and was originally known as “The Old Mill.”  It has changed a bit over the years but has remained virtually the same, from a ride perspective.  What has changed the most is the theme.  Since 2004 it has been known as Garfield’s Nightmare.  It caters to the younger demographic and employs colorful 3D effects centered around food and the characters of Garfield.

Here’s the problem(s).  It has nothing to do with the history of the ride yet isn’t “current” in enticing it’s targeted audience.  No kid today has a clue who Garfield is.  Further, 3D is not cutting edge anymore.  A nightmare based on food?  Further, the audio (you hear the same lines bleed from one segment to the next) and “special” effects are outdated and the story line is impossible for a kid (and most adults) to follow.  Do kids like it?  Sure.  Is it excellent?  No, not at all.  It’s not nostalgic nor does it pay respect to the history of ride.  It’s not current let alone the least bit trendsetting in theme or production.  It’s Just Not Right.

So, how do you fix it?  What are the changes that need to be made?  Before you even go there could I possibly be wrong (no, not in this case I’m not).  But, there’s something else.

My thoughts on the ride got me to thinking, “What is the Garfield’s Nightmare of my life?”  What is…fine?  What is…ok?  What have I just left alone that needs either an upgrade or a paring back to what it used to be?  Interestingly enough, many things have come to mind.  Physician heal thyself I suppose.  No, I’m not beating myself up and going into a self condemning slump.  I’m just giving myself a good solid look into a non “funhouse” mirror taking a look at what is Just Not Right.

What about you?  What comes to mind (for you, not me thank you very much)?

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